|Department of Mathematics|
Mathematics 253-37 | Caltech | Pasadena, CA 91125
Telephone: (626) 395-4335 | Fax: (626) 585-1728
Project MATHEMATICS! | Caltech Home | Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Undergraduate Program in Mathematics
The four-year undergraduate program in mathematics leads to the degree of Bachelor of Science. The purpose of the undergraduate option is to give students an understanding of the broad outlines of modern mathematics, to stimulate their interest in research, and to prepare them for later work, either in pure mathematics or allied sciences. Unless students have done very well in mathematics courses in their freshman and sophomore years, they should not contemplate specializing in mathematics.
Since the more interesting academic and industrial positions open to mathematicians require training beyond a bachelor's degree, students who intend to make mathematics their profession must normally plan to continue with graduate study. Some students use their background in mathematics as an entry to other fields such as physics, computer science, statistics, economics, business, finance, medicine, or law.
The schedule of courses in the undergraduate mathematics option is flexible. It enables students to adapt their programs to their needs and mathematical interests and gives them the opportunity of becoming familiar with creative mathematics early in their careers. In particular, students are encouraged to consider courses in areas such as applied and computational mathematics, physics, finance, economics, control and dynamical systems, computer science, electrical engineering, and computation and neural systems.
During each term of their junior and senior years, students normally take 18 units of courses in mathematics or applied and computational mathematics, including the required courses Ma 108abc and 109abc. Any course listed under applied and computational mathematics is regarded as an elective in mathematics and not as an elective in science, engineering, or humanities. Those who have not taken Ma 5 as sopohomores must do so as juniors. Overloads in course work are strongly discouraged; students are advised instead to deepen and supplement their course work by independent reading.
A student whose grade-point averages are less than 1.9 at the end of the academic year in the subjects under mathematics and applied and computational mathematics may, at the discretion of the department, be refused permission to continue the work in the mathematics option.
Note: Requirements 1 and 2 only apply to students who enter Caltech September 2013 or later.
Typical Course Schedule
* Includes menu course (2nd year, if not taken in freshman year). Also must include courses to meet items 4, 5 under option requirements.